FEATURED ARTIST: JIM KESSLER

FEATURED ARTIST: JIM KESSLER

Art | May 9, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

Featured Artist
Jim Kessler

Jim Kessler was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent his youth travelling with his family to multiple national parks and remote areas throughout the western United States. During this time, his parents, having a serious interest in such photographic masters as Steichen, Stieglitz, Curtis, Adams Weston & Cunningham, bought their son his first camera; a Kodak Brownie to see if it would connect. It did and evolved to a Konica, then Nikon, then to a Rollieflex. Upon entering the US Navy, Jim trained as a Naval photographer attending multiple schools and learning extensively the use of various camera types (35mm to 8×10 view cameras) as well as all forms of processing and printing.

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Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

Jim’s images cover a wide range of subject matter with the majority being from an outdoor location with the landscape being the predominant category. However, over the years, the portfolio of imagery spans a wide swath of nature; from landscapes to floral, fauna to water, architectural to human form. His first love is black & white as he feels that there is significant emotion contained within a well-conceived and executed monochrome image. That being said, certain images demand colour to bring out the vibrancy of the subject; such as birds, butterflies and sea life. Regardless of the type of subject matter, his imagery has consistently remained in a traditional approach to the medium. Images are created through visualization, composition, exposure, processing and cropping. Composites, mosaics or overlapping medium types are not used.

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Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

Photography has always held an important place in Kessler’s life. Growing up, his family were avid travellers and his parents encouraged his interest in photography. His first camera was a Kodak Brownie, then an early Konica and then a Nikon F. Jim Kessler received formal photographic training during his time in the U.S. Navy, attending multiple schools including basic, advanced, aerial, interpretation, cinematic and processing and printing of both black & white and colour. He does images predominately in black & white but also knows that certain types of subjects just cry out for their vibrant colours to be captured and expressed. He has previously shown work at SF Camerawork, SF Photoworks, City Art Gallery. He is a member artist of the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel.

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Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

From a very early age, Kessler was totally captured by images from Curtis, Stieglitz, Adams, Weston and Cunningham. Their stunning images, beautiful depth of tones and emotion just stuck a chord deep within him. As such, the roots of his imagery stem from that exposure and those influences. It is also why he focuses on the more traditional use of the medium; creation via composition, exposure, processing and cropping versus chemical alteration, differing materials, collages or composite mosaics. Over time, he has been encouraged to expand his interest in photography and to view things from alternative perspectives. This is whether it is a large landscape or a small detail in a flower. His goal is to capture and create an image that he visualized in his mind before he ever raised the camera and released the shutter. His imagery spans a large variety of subject matter and is driven by what I see and what generates a spark within me. The high point comes when I have been able to catch a moment in time, with the result being an image that causes the viewer to pause and look deeper, even if for just a moment, knowing that you made a personal connection.

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Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

One of his latest projects is about Antelope Canyon, a unique formation in Northwestern Arizona located on the Navajo Nation Reservation. It is actually in two separate sections known as “slot canyons”; Upper (The Crack) and Lower (the Corkscrew). The formations were created by the erosion of the Navajo Sandstone from flash flooding and aerial (wind) impacts resulting in smooth-flowing shapes. The narrow spaces create an array of exceptional areas of light, colour and space rarely found across the globe. Antelope Canyon is a series of photographs that are part of a large body of work held in this natural area. The overall scope of the project includes both black and white as well as color images. These selected photographs – which are only a small part of a bigger project – display not only the lines and movement of the rock surfaces within the canyon but also the multitude of colors and shades created by the light entering the canyon at differing angles and times of the day.

more. www.jimkesslerphotography.com

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Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

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Image courtesy of Jim Kessler

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